My mother worked at an elementary school, the same school that my siblings and I attended, for twenty two years. He husband was also a teacher before his retirement. I have an aunt who teaches in Connecticut, although the eastern side so she is and was safe. I have another aunt who teaches ESL. Another who works as a school librarian. And an uncle who has worked in various school capacities, including principal. One of my part time jobs before finding full time employment was in an after school care program at an elementary school. Years later my brother actually served as interim director for that program. He also worked as a substitute teacher for a while. My cousin is a school librarian. Her husband also works in the school system. Another cousin has just started working as a teacher. And yet another cousin works at a college. I have probably left some family member off this list (sorry guys) and of course that doesn't even start the list of teachers and educators I am friends with.
All of this is to say that there is a proud tradition of working in schools in my family. So school shootings are especially heartbreaking, although certainly the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is heartbreaking just on its own. I retweeted this quote, but - while I recognize its aimed at children coping with hard events - I find it true for me as well.
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world." Fred Rogers
So, I have been reading about teachers and other school administrators who moved children and co-workers into barricaded rooms. Police officers who had children and teachers close their eyes as they moved them to safety.
And I spent a weekend surrounded by friends.